The wood ashes you clean out of your wood stove can be recycled by using them as a soil amendment in the garden. In fact, such recycling leaves us with a very satisfying feeling, bringing out the "homesteader" in us. As with using manure and compost, recycling wood ashes in the garden is a "trash to treasure" exercise, a piece of horticultural alchemy that inspires contemplation about the great circle of life.
While manure allows us to take care of the "N" in the great NPK triad, wood ashes are a source for both the "P" and the "K," as Marie Iannotti explains:
"Ashes from fireplaces and wood burning stoves are a good source of potassium and a lesser source of phosphorus and some micro-nutrients, depending on the type of wood burned."
Practical and bucolic: what's not to like about recycling wood ashes? Nothing, as long as you do so in moderation, as About.com's Gardening Guide tells us in this article on recycling wood ashes.